Pages 390-392, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




JOSHUA BUTLER. Iola's enterprising and thrifty farmer, feeder and stock shipper, has passed more than thirty years within the limits of Allen county. He entered it early in November of 1869 and, on Sunday morning, the 4th of the month, he drove into town from the east, having arrived at his destination after a drive of several hundred miles. He ended a journey that began in Coshocton county, Ohio, in October, by steamboat, "Champion," from Cincinnati to St. Louis, and was finished with an overland trip from that city.

Mr. Butler was born in Coshocton county, Ohio, September 17, 1845, and was a son of an early settler there, Harrison Butler. The latter was born and brought up in Culpepper county, Virginia, where he owned


slaves and was one of the thrifty planters of his community. His birth occurred in 1785 and he died in 1868. He was one of the intensely industrious men of his time and place and his industry was liberally rewarded. The children by his first wife were: Ann, who married Michael Carrol and died leaving a daughter in Coshocton county; Mary Butler, who died young; Frances, who married Chrispum Foster and died in Allen county, Kansas; Lucinda, who died single; and William Butler, well known to early settlers west of the Neosho river in Allen county, who died in 1879. The mother of our subject was Margaret Nellineer. Her children were: Henry Butler, of Akron, Ohio; Caroline, wife of William Valentine, of Iola: Joshua, our subject; Charlotte, wife of John Porter, resides in Columbus, Ohio, and Sarah J., who married Isaac Bible and resides in Coshocton county, Ohio.

Joshua Butler has been nothing short of a shrewd, industrious and thrifty farmer from boyhood. He received little in the way of an education and, at the age of thirteen years, he can be said to have "started" in life. He relates that he hadn't clothing fit to wear to Sabbath School for two years at a time and he worked out by the day and month for five years. Although his father was thrifty he did not lavish any of his substance upon Joshua, assuming it to be the better plan to compel him to gain experience by practice while young. Joshua Butler earned many an honest dollar at the pitiful sum of $11.00 a month. One three months' work he invested in seed wheat, sowed it and lost it by the weevil. Another sum of money, earned as wages, he bought calves with and doubled his money. He was not more than a youth when he bought a mare which he expected to sell to Dan Rice's show but a shipper came along and offered him $45 more than he paid and she went south. On a Sunday morning he bargained for a hundred head of sheep at $400 and sold them in a short time for $507.50. This sort of speculation and his wages enabled him to pay for three shares of the old home in five years. One of the heirs petitioned to have the place sold and our subject bought it in on Saturday and sold it again, at once, at a profit of $400. Feeling the need of better educational equipment he spent two years in school. In 1868 he was married to Clementine Foster and remained the first year in Roscoe. The first thing he did upon coming to Allen county was to purchase forty-six acres of land west of the river and the next fall he added eighty acres to the west of it, creating a debt of $400.00. As he became able he added another eighty and then one hundred and sixty-five acres, and more recently one hundred and fifty-eight acres. He rested, as it were, ten years till he paid out and sent two of his children to Lane University two years. He moved into Iola in 1893 and purchased the southeast corner of block ten upon which he has erected two large houses. He built one of the handsome store buildings on the south side of the square in 1894 and his income from rentals is one much to be desired. As a feeder Mr. Butler handles one hundred head of cattle and several car loads of fat hogs yearly.

In 1881 Mr. Butler lost his first wife. Her children were: Ebenezer, who married Ada Johnson and resides on the farm; Emma, wife of H. C.


Williamson, of Iola, and Nellie, who married James B. Ewart, of Vernon county, Missouri. In 1883 Mr. Butler married Mary Williams. Their children are: Edna, Stuart, Flossie and Iva Butler.

No man about Iola is better known than Joshua Butler. No man of his age and length of residence in Allen county has produced more substantial results from actual hard work than he. In his youth he learned that it always paid to be honest, and this old adage he has followed to the letter in latter life. As a stock man he possesses excellent judgment and on all his varied interests he keeps a close tab.

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